The Miraculous Save

Chloe Bennet was on her way to the 24/7 movie rental store to pick up something to watch when a fluffy white ball suddenly appeared right in front of her car.

Her tyres screeched as she slammed down on the brakes and she immediately scrambled to open her seat-belt when she heard a frightened whimper. It was a little white dog, a puppy really, frozen not two inches from her left front tyre, trembling in terror. The poor thing had gotten its head stuck into what looked like an empty green beans can and couldn’t see where it was headed.

Chloe’s heart went out to it. She had to free the puppy somehow. She was trying to remember whether she had anything in her car that she could use to pry the can off without hurting the animal, when she heard a set of quick footsteps behind her.

“Miss? Are you okay? I heard brakes screeching and I came to see if anyone needed help.”

Chloe turned around to see a tall man in a long gray coat, a knit hat on his auburn hair. “No I’m okay, thank you. He, or she, is, however, not.”

The man followed her finger to see the predicament the puppy was in. “Oh no! That’s very unfortunate. But thank god you could stop when you did. Otherwise something even worse could have happened.”

“Small miracles I guess”, Chloe shrugged. “But I have to get its head out. It might not get so lucky next time.”

“Yes I’ll go find my pliers or cutters from the shed”, the man said. “If you could wait here with it for a minute?”

Chloe nodded, picking up the pup and watching the man head into a house behind her. “Don’t worry, we’ll get you out of that”, she soothed, stroking the soft white fur.

When the man returned with a set of pliers, it didn’t take long with the two of them working together to cut the can off. He puppy yelped in excitement, licking both their hands in gratitude.

“There. You’re free now little girl”, Chloe chuckled. “Thank you so much for your help Mr…?”

“Witherspoon. Henry Witherspoon”, the man introduced himself. “And you are?”

“Chloe Bennet”, she shook his hand. “Do you think we ought to return the puppy to her home? How do we know who owns her?”

“Here, she’s got a tag”, Henry said. “Julie Reynolds. Can’t say I’ve heard that name in this neighbourhood. Must be with someone on holiday.”

Just then, a woman rounded the corner, out of breath and frantically looking around. Seeing her, the puppy started yapping and squirming to get out of Chloe’s arms.

“Oh there you are Snowy!” the relieved woman, presumably Julie Reynolds, exclaimed, taking her precious burden back. She turned to the man and woman before her. “I can’t thank you two enough. I volunteer in the soup kitchen on the next street on Christmas day. This year, I didn’t have anyone to look after Snowy so I brought her with me. I had her on a leash and everything but we’re a bit short-staffed this year. I swear I only took my eyes off for a minute and the next thing I see is her running out the door in fright with a can stuck on her head! I’ve been looking for her in every alleyway, until I saw you holding her.”

“It’s no problem, honestly”, Chloe smiled. “She’s such a sweet little thing. We had to help.”

“Agreed”, said Henry. “Don’t mention it. And did you say something about being short-staffed? I don’t have any plans today. I could help out if you want.”

“Oh my goodness would you like to?” Julie asked. “I mean, I don’t want to impose but we would never say no to an extra pair of hands.”

“How about two extra pair of hands?” Chloe interjected. “I was only going to rent a movie for today. I would love to help too. Who likes to spend Christmas by themselves anyway?”

“I think I can safely say we would never leave a beautiful lady alone on Christmas, right Miss Reynolds?” said Henry, his eyes twinkling. Chloe ducked her head to hide her suddenly warm cheeks.

“Absolutely”, Julie nodded enthusiastically. “Come along Miss. Let us make this Christmas memorable for you!”

“So, did you have fun?” Henry asked later that evening, when they were heading out after a full day of volunteering.

“Oh yes! I think I know what I’m doing on Christmas from now on”, replied Chloe.

“I’m glad to hear it”, said Henry, and then hesitated. “Uh, what would you say to a cup of coffee right now? I know a great place just around the corner.”

Chloe felt her lips turn up, even as she blushed. “I was hoping you’d ask that actually. I would say yes, but only if you drive. My arms still ache from all that serving!”

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